Few things are more pivotal for developing a healthy baby than ensuring that your child has sufficient nutrition.
There are many competing theories and schools of thought on how best nutrition should be approached when it comes to infants.
The experts at Nutricia know it can be difficult to know where to begin if you are trying to learn more about baby nutrition. Still, there is certainly plenty of information available.
In terms of overall well-being, your baby’s nutrition is fundamentally intertwined with gut health.
With increasing amounts of scientific and medical attention being focused on the gut – or the “second brain” as it is becoming known- it is of paramount importance that you have a working understanding of how nutrition affects your child’s gut health to ensure they grow up healthy.
Why baby nutrition is so critical for your child’s gut health.
The Importance Of Gut Flora
Having healthy gut flora is now known to be essential for human well-being.
This is certainly no different for your baby.
In this article by the Sydney Morning Herald, we are reminded that the first two years of a baby’s life are critical for building the foundations of positive gut health they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Indeed, your gut is strongly linked to immune system functioning, and your baby’s gut health can strongly influence their moods and cognitive abilities.
Good gut flora can also assist in the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Considering the extent of its influence, this is not something you should take lightly when considering your baby’s diet.
Read on to learn about baby nutrition for gut health and its importance.
What Is To Be Done?
In many ways, food is medicine.
Diet and nutrition are critical for developing your baby’s gut health.
Breastfeeding can be a great way to transfer gut bacteria from mother to child.
However, some research shows formula-fed infants do not necessarily have inferior gut health.
If you are formula feeding your baby, experiment with probiotic formula variants to be sure.
When solid food becomes tolerable, says the Australian Breastfeeding Association, ensure your child’s diet includes lots of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates.
These can be found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
For a bonus biome boost, include yogurt or dairy drinks such as kefir in your child’s diet if they are not too picky!
Beyond diet, it is also important that your baby is exposed to many good microbes from the outside world.
Bring your baby outside to increase this exposure.
If you have a household pet, having them around with your baby can also serve as a means to expand the latter’s bacteria biome.
Treat Your Own Gut Right
During your pregnancy, you should also improve your gut biome to help develop your baby’s gut health.
In this regard, diversity is important in terms of gut bacteria.
Make sure to eat a variety fruits and vegetables and avoid refined carbohydrates when possible.
Prebiotics can be useful here in the form of food or supplements.
Naturally, you should include some fermented foods such as pickles or sauerkraut and probiotics such as yogurt to boost your biome.
What To Avoid
Perhaps most obviously, antibiotics can wreak havoc on a baby’s developing gut biome.
While these drugs are certainly necessary in many cases, avoid them when other options are possible.
As our understanding of the human gut biome continues, new studies will provide more precise guidelines and information regarding improving it.
Continue to keep yourself informed as your baby grows to promote healthy development.
You may even find that your gut health improves by taking some of the points mentioned here to heart, benefiting you and your family.
Your baby’s nutrition for gut health is an important part of mealtime.